'Lengthy sentence' sought for Daniel Aikens in bombings as murder case still looms




  • In US
  • 2022-11-23 02:00:45Z
  • By The Town Talk

Federal prosecutors want a substantial sentence for Daniel Aikens, the Alexandria man found guilty Friday on eight charges connected to bombings in Monroe and Alexandria in 2019 and 2020.

After jurors convicted Aiken, 40, U.S. Attorney Brandon Brown called him "an extremely dangerous individual" in a news release. Brown also stated prosecutors would request a "lengthy sentence."

Aikens was convicted on all eight charges on which he'd been indicted − three counts of making a destructive device, three counts of possession of a destructive device in violation of the National Firearms Act, one count of using an explosive to commit a federal felony and one count of conveying malicious false information.

Aikens will be sentenced by U.S. Senior District Judge Dee Drell on March 3, 2023.

He was arrested four days after the Jan. 2, 2020, bombing outside Payday Today in Alexandria, and officials later connected him to two other bombings. One was also in Alexandria, on Dec. 20, 2019, in a field next to a Jackson Street convenience store, while the other happened on Sept. 12, 2019, outside a beauty school in Monroe.

The federal probe allowed Grant Parish Sheriff's investigators to secure an arrest warrant for Aikens in a homicide investigation, too.

Aikens had been a suspect in the Dec. 31, 2017, death of 29-year-old Keelien Darquis Lewis, who was found dead in his Dry Prong home.

Keelien Darquis Lewis
Keelien Darquis Lewis  

Lewis had worked for Aikens' lawn care business, Just What You Expect, for just three weeks. But investigators say Aikens bought a $250,000 life insurance policy on Lewis, something that caught the attention of the parish's then-coroner who also was an insurance agent.

Keelien Darquis Lewis case:Alexandria bombing defendant now accused in 2017 death of Dry Prong man

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During a Aug. 11, 2020, news conference announcing the second-degree murder arrest warrant against Aikens, Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said Lewis died of asphyxiation by carbon-monoxide poisoning after Aikens turned on a gas fish cooker in Lewis' bedroom.

"It was a targeted and well-thought-out plan on Aikens' part to kill him for money," McCain said at the time. "That's the bottom line. He killed this guy for greed and for money. This is my opinion, but it's the true epitome of evil, that you're willing to take another human's life for a dollar bill. My hope is that he never walks around in society again and never has a chance to hurt somebody else or somebody else's family ever again."

The case hadn't progressed because of the federal charges against Aikens, but officials hope to move forward now.

This article originally appeared on Alexandria Town Talk: 'Lengthy sentence' sought for Daniel Aikens as murder case still looms

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